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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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The Front Lines Where The Real Battles Are Fought

Here are some stats that Most of us already know and most Dealer Principles and GMs may already know. But let’s give it another read because this is important to your business.

Not all buyers use the same criteria to choose a dealer or are influenced by the same dealer experience and sales processes.

According to the Foresight Research 2013 Dealership Report, Taken from UCN News, based on a study of 7,543 recent U.S. new car and truck buyers, experience with a brand drives most purchases.

While 17 different automotive marketing communication channels are analyzed in this study, none are more influential to the purchase decisions of new car and truck buyers than the dealership experience with the exception of prior brand experience. Forty-nine percent of all buyers this past year report that their dealership experience was highly influential to their decision to purchase the vehicle they did. 

The average new-vehicle buyer today is older (nearly half are over age 55). They are also wealthier and experienced with the buying process. Dealer reputation and relationships are key to this group.

Younger buyers (many of them first-time buyers) bring a narrower set of expectations into their buying process. These buyers want and need dealer assistance, but one out of four say their dealership experience took too long. 

Buyers aged 35-54 (representing 37 percent of current buyers) reflect a mixture of their younger and older counterparts. Like younger buyers, they are very concerned with getting a good price/deal, and financing options. Yet like older buyers, they have high expectations of their dealer experience.

So let’s think about this. This means that the people on the front lines and by this I mean the salespeople, including those in the BDC department, Service Writers, Parts and Body Shop Departments. Now why did I just refer to all these people as salespeople?

Because they all better be. These are the people that are selling you, your services and products and if they don’t know how to sell and how to treat people-your losing a great deal of business.

So why do a lot of you think that you can get these people on the cheap and expect great results. You pay a lot for your marketing and other vendors services and hopefully they are doing the right things.

But these employees I just mentioned are your most valuable asset and you are not going to get or have the right people on the cheap. I showed in one of my last posts a dealer who was paying top dollar and getting top results. These stats just gave me the opportunity to maybe shed more light on my mission to prove my point.

You can hire consultants to train, train and do more training and give people all the tools in the world to do a job but if you don’t have the right people your just wasting your money. And by the way what are your managers doing?

You need consultants who know how to get the right people in right the positions first Which means consultants who have proven themselves on the front lines and in the trenches who can find right people you need. And again, what are your managers doing?

If you need to hire consultants, (And again what are your managers doing), find one who is going to weed out all the non-performers and who is hired by and who is looking out for you the owner and not the management that may be the root of your problems.

A lot of good salespeople and managers have already left the Automotive Industry because the good ones can perform in any Commission Sales Industry and are going where they can be rewarded for their talent.

There are those who would like to commoditize the Industry and have store clerks waiting on people. But I can tell you that if this happens there will no longer be room for the Small and Medium Size Franchise Dealer.

By having the right people you don’t need to train them because they’re professionals and are driven to perform. So if you take all that money you pay to train and get no return from and put the right people (Including Management) on the front lines- you will not only save most of the money you spend on consultants but realize that the ones on the front lines are your real ROI.

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